The demise of Intelligence and the long-forgotten Hostages was fully expected as neither made a mark in the Monday 10 PM time slot though there was some argument made about procedural Intelligence. Friends With Better Lives, which had been envisioned as a potential successor to How I Met Your Mother and launched behind the series finale of the long-running CBS comedy, had a shot at a renewal and had supporters at CBS. I hear producer 20th TV may shop it elsewhere. For Bad Teacher, the cancellation comes only three episodes into its run. The comedy, based on the hit movie, exceeded ratings expectations in its debut but dropped off in Episodes 2 and 3. Still, some thought CBS would wait until after the upfronts to make a decision on its future to give it more time. Read More »
Hostages‘ Dylan McDermott is set as the male lead in another CBS/Warner Bros TV drama project, the untitled Kevin Williamson pilot. The casting cements the fate of serialized thriller Hostages, which was not expected to continue beyond the initial 13-episode arc after struggling to draw sizable audiences. Written by Williamson and directed by Liz Friedlander, the untitled project is described as a psychological thriller revolving around two detectives, Beth and Jack (McDermott), who handle stalking incidents for the Threat Assessment Unit of the LAPD. McDermott’s Jack Larsen is a recent transfer from the Threat Assessment Unit from New York. His healthy confidence and quick thinking has gotten him into trouble in the past — a past he hopes to leave behind. Before Hostages, The Practice alum McDermott starred in the first season of hit FX drama American Horror Story. He is with CAA.
ABC’s The Bachelor mounted a ratings rebound with its first Latino bachelor. The series’ 18th-season premiere last night drew a 2.7 in adults 18-49 and 8.5 million viewers — up 17% in the demo and 23% in total viewers. That is a three-year high for the show. The Bachelor‘s ratings resurgence began last season: After dipping to a premiere low, Cycle 17 ended on a high note, with the finale rising 14% year-to-year. The Bachelor posted season-high 18-49 rating for ABC in the Monday 8-10 PM time period, eclipsing every in-season episode of ABC’s other veteran competition reality series, Dancing With The Stars, which debuted a week early. At 10 PM, ABC’s Castle (1.8, 8.8 million) returned from a long hiatus down 14% in the demo from its last original on November 25. ABC still easily won the night against mostly repeat competition. ESPN will likely dominate Monday overall with the down-to-the wire BCS Championship Game. Read More »
Just over a week before those presents under the tree are opened, Tuesday’s primetime was full of holiday specials and more year-enders but not a lot of cheer for some.Almost Human (1.6/5) wrapped up the first part of its first season as the only original on a holiday animation heavy Fox. The freshman futuristic cop show from JJ Abrams’ Bad Robot Productions was down 11% from its December 10 show to hit a season low. Almost Human returns on January 6.
There was a lot of Christmas in the air but no noticeable androids on NBC on Tuesday as the network blasted out another full night of singing. There were also some low notes. With its penultimate episode of Season 5, The Voice (3.3/9) saw all four coaches belting out some Def Leppard with some of the British rock band on hand. The final trio of contestants also took to the stage one last time before a winner is declared on tonight’s finale. While the highest-rated show of the night, The Voice dipped 6% from last week. No big whoop on one level but that slight downward turn also resulted in the show’s lowest performance finale ever. Last night’s show was down 21% from last year’s Season 3 equivalent show on December 17 and down 11% from the Season 4 comparable show on June 17 … Read More »
The rosy prediction reflects growing strength in the economy, and in the performance of the broadcast TV networks, CBS Chief Research Officer David Poltrack told investors today at the UBS Global Media and Communications Conference. He says that the growth figure would remain strong, at +4%, if you factored out the expected ad sales boost from the Winter Olympics. Don’t be too quick to scoff that Poltrack’s forecast may be colored by a conflict of interest: He’s had a pretty good track record in recent years, which is why so many people in the industry track his annual UBS presentation. He was right about on target last year when he predicted that network ad revenues this year would drop 2%, reflecting a 3% underlying growth rate when you factor out the 2012 Olympics and election. Economists “are encouraged by recent trends in the housing market as well as gains in private sector employment,” he says. “They see a continuing, but somewhat plodding, recovery.” But Poltrack is enthusiastic about the broadcast business — suggesting that this season may mark a transition to a period where networks will benefit from increased on-demand viewing, and excitement from people who use Twitter and other social media to chat with fellow fans. Last year “I concluded my presentation by posing the question, ‘Are we entering a new golden era for broadcast network television?’” Poltrack says. “Today I am going to try and convince you that the time may have come to drop the question mark.” Read More »
UPDATED, 9 AM: Broadcast network Premiere Week numbers for 30-day multi-platform playback on DVR, VOD, online, etc. are out, confirming that overnight Nielsen ratings are now very preliminary reads and the broadcast networks got off to a much better start this season than originally reported. CBS weighed in this morning, reporting that the overall audience for the premiere episode of new Monday drama Hostages – initially reported at a disappointing 7.41 million viewers, based on Nielsen fast nationals issued the next morning — now stands 15.54 million strong. That’s a jump of 110% with the 30-day multi-platform playback factored in. Similarly, the opening audience for Chuck Lorre’s new CBS comedy Mom jumped 72%, from 7.99 million viewers, to 13.77 million. And the crowd for the opening night of David E. Kelley’s new Robin Williams comedy The Crazy Ones now stands at nearly 24 million viewers, after growing 52% over the 30 days.
Fox, which launched new series before Premiere Week, had already reported 30-day multi-platform total audiences for the majority of its premieres delivered lifts of 80% to 108% versus the series’ same-day deliveries. Fox’s premiere of Sleepy Hollow on September 16 soared 108% to 26.4 million viewers across Live, DVR, VOD and streaming on Hulu.com and Fox.com. Brooklyn Nine-Nine climbed 97% to 14.6 million viewers across platforms. Returning New Girl and The Mindy Project snagged lifts of 80%. Fox also noted a 76% increase in viewing of its in-season shows on Hulu than at same point last season (34.3 mil views vs. 19.5 mil).
UPDATE 1:30 PM: Things are looking brighter for 2 Broke Girls, which was adjusted up a tenth to a 2.7, the best Live+Same Day rating to date in the new 8:30 PM slot and only a tenth off the series’ season high number posted in the September opener. Also up .1 in the finals are the usual suspects, The Voice (4.3), How I Met Your Mother (3.0) and Dancing With The Stars (2.1). But Hostages couldn’t hold on, slipping to a 1.2 to match its rating for the past couple of weeks. Meanwhile, the CW’s series retained their fast nationals despite an NFL pre-emption. Baseball was adjusted up, lifting Fox (4.1) past NBC (3.9) to an outright No.1 finish for the night in 18-49.
PREVIOUS: Proving that sports largely bring new audiences to TV and don’t cannibalize existing ones, ratings for NBC, CBS and ABC were virtually unaffected by Game 5 of the World Series on Fox, which is expected to bag a nightly victory in adults 18-49 (possibly tied with NBC) and total viewers. NBC’s The Voice (4.2 in 18-49) was even with its fast national last Monday, while The Blacklist (3.1) was up a tenth and has a good chance of holding on to that number — a three-week Live+7 Day high — in the finals despite a minute of a Voice overrun. Another Monday freshman drama, CBS’ Hostages (1.3), saw a much-needed uptick (+.1), posting its best 18-49 result in a month. The series has a limited first-season order and doesn’t need a Back 9 pickup, but any improvement helps to justify CBS’ decision to keep the show in its Monday 10 PM slot. Hostages picked up 8% despite its lead-in, Mom (2.1) slipping 9% from last week. Read More »
Will Obamacare become plot fodder for CBS’ Hostages and Under The Dome? A $500,000 grant awarded this week to USC Annenberg Norman Lear Center’s Hollywood Health & Society program certainly suggests it’s a possibility. In the latest push to get Tinseltown to promote President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, the decade-old program has received the money from the private California Endowment to give Hollywood producers, writers and execs details about the newly launched health insurance initiative. “Our experience has shown that the public gets just as much, if not more, information about current events and important issues from their favorite television shows and characters as they do from the news media and online resources,” said Hollywood Health & Society’s Martin Kaplan in a statement today. “This grant will allow us to ensure that industry practitioners have up-to-date, relevant facts on health care reform to integrate into their storylines and projects.” Hostages’ co-EP Jennifer Cecil sits on Hollywood Health & Society’s Advisory Board as does Under The Dome EP Neal Baer. So does Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan and Disney Junior’s Doc McStuffins EP Chris Nee among others. The grant comes just over a week after Jennifer Hudson appeared in a pro-Obamacare Scandal parody video produced by Will Ferrell’s Funny Or Die. Read More »
CBS’ serialized new dramaHostages was designed for a limited run. The question is how limited. In its third week, the thriller fell to a 1.2 adults 18-49 rating, down 20% from last Monday. That is very low by CBS drama standards. It is the first in-season heavily serialized drama series on CBS in a long time, but Under The Dome did fine over the summer in the same Monday 10 PM, warming it up for Hostages. With two other hot new drama offerings Monday — Fox’s Sleepy Hollow and NBC’s The Blacklist, both already renewed and picked up for a full season, respectively — Hostages is getting rejected by viewers. Given the auspices involved — Jerry Bruckheimer TV and stars Toni Collette and Dylan McDermott — CBS will likely air the entire 15-episode first-season arc. The question is whether it will keep the show on Monday, which needs some propping up. As I noted in my Premiere Week analysis, CBS is vulnerable on Mondays this fall. None of the new shows popped. In its second outing, new comedy We Are Men (1.8) was down 10% from its soft premiere and the second-lowest-rated CBS series behind Hostages. It squandered a large portion of its How I Met Your Mother lead-in (2.9, down 6%) and seems to be hurting its lead-out, 2 Broke Girls (2.2), down 8% to a new series low. Fellow new comedy Mom (2.0) is doing a little better, down 9% but holding onto most of 2 Broke Girls‘ younger viewers.
Besides Hostages‘ 20% plunge, virtually all other series last night saw their ratings shaved off by 10% or less. Fox’s Bones (2.0) was down 6%. Sleepy Hollow (2.7) was off by 10%. NBC’s The Voice (4.5) was down 4%, while Blacklist (3.2) was off by a tenth (3%). It may be adjusted down another tenth because of a minute of Voice overrun. NBC won the night in 18-49 (4.1, 13.3 million) ABC logged a 2.1 for Dancing With The Stars (up 5%) and 2.0 for Castle (down 9%) though the numbers were likely inflated by a local NFL pre-emption.
Joanne Kelly, who is finishing a five-year run on Syfy’s top-rated drama Warehouse 13, has been tapped for a major recurring role on the new CBS drama Hostages. She plays Vanessa, an ambitious ambassador and the sister of the First Lady of the United States (Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio). Kelly is with Domain and Joannie Burstein.
Heroes alum Jack Coleman has been cast in a multi-episode arc on ABC’s Scandal. Per Shonda Rhimes’ gag order, little is known about his character Daniel Douglas, who is a charming Southerner with ties to one of the gladiators. He’s repped by Domain and Framework. Read More »
Fox and ABC already launched some of their shows last week, but the 2013-14 fall season formally kicked off last night with a fully loaded schedule from all of The Big 4. In a night of all originals with the return of heavyweights like The Voiceand heavily hyped series premieres such as Hostages and The Blacklist, NBC won Monday in both adults 18-49 (with a 4.6/12) and viewers (with 13.982 million watching). CBS was second in the demo with a 2.7/7 rating, while ABC was No. 2 in viewership with 12.737 million.
The real battle royale on the first night of the new season was at 10 PM. The head-to-head new debuts saw a thriller vs. a terror era procedural with CBS’ Hostages (1.8/5) and NBC’s The Blacklist (3.8/10) facing off. The first round easily went to James Spader’s showcase post-Office return to NBC over the weak result of the Jerry Bruckheimer limited series on CBS. However, with a strong lead-in from the two-hour Season 5 debut of The Voice(4.9/13), Blacklist didn’t make the fast nationals of last year’s 4.1/11 premiere of Revolution — the biggest drama opening in the last 3 years and the best NBC has done in 5. Granted, Revolution had a lot less competition for its September 17, 2012 debut. Still, despite a performance better than its last two premieres, a name star and waves of promotion for The Voice (4.9/13), the fact that The Blacklist wasn’t on par with Revolution should be a source of concern for NBC over the long term.
Having gotten a good summer out of the cable model with Under The Dome, CBS looks to have come up short with its new 15-episode limited series Hostages, about a surgeon whose family is taken captive by a rogue FBI agent just before she is about to operate on the President. CBS’ only new drama this fall fell short of the preliminary rating debuts of both the 3.1/9 of Elementary on September 27, 2012 (down 42%) and the 2.5/7 of now-cancelled Vegas (down 28%) on September 25, 2012.Read More »
The first new fall series, Fox’s Sleepy Hollow, premieres tonight, marking the unofficial start of the 2013-14 broadcast season. A slew of new shows and a legion of returning ones will unspool over the next couple of months. In the past, that would mean a bloody skirmish in every time slot, with one show coming out victorious and the rest in moderate or grave danger. Now with DVR and online viewing, several shows airing in the same time period can be popular. But will they all be successful? That is probably the biggest question facing the networks — how to translate eyeballs on different platforms into ratings and money from advertisers. While ad rates now are determined by C3 ratings that include playback (plus commercials) in the first three days after the premiere airing and the networks universally use Live+7 as ratings currency, Fox’s Kevin Reilly recently made a case for expanding the rating measurements to Live+30 and beyond and for including online viewing. In line with that, Fox this fall is introducing DVR and multi-platform lift projections for its shows. Meanwhile, CBS’ Leslie Moonves and David Poltrack recently proclaimed the decline of the adults 18-49 demo, which has been the key metric for advertisers. All that confusion opens the door for even more spin from the networks who can declare almost any show a hit using different viewing windows and demos. Maybe Netflix’s M.O., often criticized by its competitors, not to disclose any ratings data isn’t all that bad after all. If the company considers a series successful, it renews it, if not, it’s gone.
Back to the broadcast networks, which seem to be switching identities this fall. CBS’ highest-profile new drama, Hostages, is a serialized thriller vs. a classic procedural last year (Elementary). Meanwhile, NBC, which made its biggest drama push with the heavily serialized Revolution last fall, is getting behind a procedural The Blacklist, which inherited Revolution‘s Monday 10 PM slot, this year. Multi-camera leader CBS is making a push in single-camera comedy with The Crazy Ones and We Are Men, while single-camera-centric Fox is reverting to multi-camera comedies with Dads. Here are some challenges each of the networks faces:Read More »
Channel 4 Imports ‘Hostages’, ’100′, ‘Tomorrow People’, ‘S.H.I.E.L.D.’ Britain’s Channel 4 has acquired a quartet of U.S. shows that will air in early 2014, including three from Warner Bros International Television: Hostages will air on Channel 4, while The 100 and The Tomorrow People will air on sister channel E4. Also coming to Channel4 is Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D., the new series from Marvel Television and ABC Studios. It premieres on C4 in the fall, soon after its ABC launch in the U.S. In a new commission, C4 has ordered Making Liberty, a three-part series based around the luxe Regent Street department store. Rize USA is producing the series that focuses on the store as it preps for the Christmas season. It will air in the fall.
‘The Young And Prodigious Mr Spivet’ Premiere Will CloseSan Sebastian
Amélie director Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s latest film, The Young And Prodigious Mr Spivet is set to world premiere at the San Sebastian Film Festival. It will close the proceedings on September 28. Helena Bonham Carter, Judy Davis, Kyle Catlett, Callum Keith Rennie, Robert Maillet and Dominique Pinon star. Gaumont backed the 3D movie about a 12-year-old child prodigy who lives on a ranch in Montana. His great talent for cartography and inventions soon is rewarded. A scientific institute announces that he has won a prestigious award, and he sets out across the country to collect it. The Weinstein Co. acquired the pic in Cannes. Read More »
TV critics did not marvel at NBC doing a CBS-type drama, Mondays at 10 this fall in The Blacklist – they were more interested in ticking off the James Spader drama’s similarities to the feature film The Silence Of The Lambs. But today at TCA they did marvel at CBS doing a highly serialized drama you’d see on NBC, ABC or Fox in the same timeslot. Particularly because the event-drama thriller,Hostages, comes from Jerry Bruckheimer – the high priest of CBS procedural crime dramas. Hostages stars Toni Collette as a surgeon who is ordered to assassinate the President of the United States in order to save her family. Dylan McDermott stars as the chief hostage taker, who insists he has a really good reason for wanting POTUS dead.
“We’re doing 15 [episodes] and hope to get not only two seasons but a lot more. This is not a miniseries,” Bruckheimer said when one TV critic suggested it must be. “We normally like orders of 22” episodes, agreed Bruckheimer’s TV chief Jonathan Littman. “When you’re doing something that is this intense and this much of a thriller it’s hard to bring out 22 [episodes], with repeats and weeks off, and keep up the suspense….The series concept dictates [the format].” Read More »
CBS has just released a sneak peek of the key art designs for the network’s new fall 15-episode thriller Hostages, which it will begin touting at Comic-Con this week. The Jerry Bruckheimer-produced series stars Toni Collette as a surgeon thrust into a chilling political conspiracy when her family is taken hostage by rogue FBI agent Duncan Carlisle (Dylan McDermott), who orders her to assassinate the President when she operates on him. The series premieres Monday, September 23 at 10 PM. Check it out:
UPDATE: I hear among the pilots remaining in serious contention are dramas Backstrom and Beverly Hills Cop and comedy Friends With Better Lives. I also gear that the serialized Hostages, which had been rumored for a midseason run, has received a 15-episode order and may air as a limited run.
PREVIOUS, 2:30 PM:CBS is going for star power — both in front and behind the camera — with its series pickups. The network has ordered projects starring Robin Williams, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Anna Faris, Allison Janney, Will Arnett, Kal Penn, Tony Shalhoub, Jerry O’Connell, Toni Collette, Dylan McDermott, Josh Holloway, and Marg Helgenberger from writers/producers Chuck Lorre, Greg Garcia, David E. Kelley and Jerry Bruckheimer.
Living up to the buzz that CBS has been higher on its comedy pilots than dramas this season, the network has picked up four new comedy series vs. two dramas. The comedies are two multi-camera — Lorre’sMom and Garcia’s multi-camera project, now titled The Millers – and two single-camera — Kelley’s Crazy Ones starring Robin Williams and We Are Men (formerly untitled Rob Greenberg). This marks the first time in five years that CBS will have a single-camera on the air, since Worst Week in 2008. On the drama side, getting the nod are the Bruckheimer-produced conspiracy thriller Hostages and crime procedural Intelligence, which stars Holloway and Helgenberger. The big question is: where is Beverly Hills Cop? Word is CBS is not completely done yet, with 1-2 more pickups likely. For now, I’ve only heard that the Tad Quill project and Rottenberg/Zuritsky are not going forward; I’ll update with info on others.
Rick Eid has joined CBS‘ drama pilotHostages as executive producer. Eid will serve as co-showrunner on the project, from Jerry Bruckheimer TV and Warner Bros. TV, alongside writer/director/executive producer Jeffrey Nachmanoff. Based on an Israeli format, Hostages centers on Ellen (Toni Collette), a successful surgeon who is selected to operate on the President of the United States (James Naughton) and thrust into the middle of a political conspiracy when her family is taken hostage, with Dylan McDermott as a righteous FBI agent at the center of the conspiracy. The gig extends Eid’s relationship with Bruckheimer TV — he was a consulting producer on the company’s long-running CBS series CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and was executive producer/showrunner on its TNT series Dark Blue. Hostages also reunites Eid, who is under an overall deal at CBS TV Studios, with Warner Bros. and Dark Blue star McDermott. WME-repped Eid also exec produced NBC’s Law & Order, created NBC’s Conviction, and worked on CBS’ The Guardian.
James Naughton has been cast in Hostages, CBS‘ drama pilot from writer-director Jeffrey Nachmanoff, Jerry Bruckheimer TV and Warner Bros TV. Based on an Israeli format, the project centers on Ellen (Toni Collette), a successful surgeon who is selected to operate on the President of the United States (Naughton) and thrust into the middle of a political conspiracy when her family is taken hostage. Naughton, repped by Paradigm and Brookside Artist Management, is a theater veteran who has won Tonys for Chicago and City of Angels. He recently recurred on the CW’s Gossip Girl. Read More »